It is well-documented that the hospitality industry, including pubs, have struggled over the past few years.

Coronavirus lockdowns, changing public opinions on alcohol and the rise of food-delivery services have been the downfall of the Great British pub, so there is no better time to get out there and support your local.

Cambridgeshire is blessed with a wealth of watering holes to choose from, so we’ve put together some of the best-reviewed from across the county to make your choice easier.

Here’s 9 of the best pubs in Cambridgeshire according to Tripadvisor:

1. The Ship Inn, March

The Ship Inn in March is set in a thatched building next to the River Nene. Original beams, a wooden aesthetic and a historic feel all add to the bar’s atmosphere, while the food is well-reviewed too.

Despite being an extremely popular service, staff shortages and rising costs have meant that the Ship Inn’s breakfast offering has been discontinued.

Royston Crow: The Ship Inn is among the best reviewed pubs in Cambridgeshire.The Ship Inn is among the best reviewed pubs in Cambridgeshire. (Image: The Ship Inn)

Despite this, good comments have continued to pour in, with one customer (username D3234FJseanl) stating: “Traditional pub with pleasant atmosphere and generally chatty customers, friendly staff that take the time to present drinks attractively in the right glasses.”

Another (username tony B), added: “Situated right beside the canal, this is the epitome of a locals bar - no hostility just but friends meeting up for a drink, Good service and excellent ales.”

2. The Coopers, Peterborough

It can be difficult for franchise pubs to match the reviews of independent locals, with people often preferring to support the smaller, more traditional bars.

However, this Greene King establishment has proven that it has what it takes to rise above other pubs in the area and rank strongly in Tripadvisor’s lists.

The Coopers in Peterborough boasts a beer garden, both BT Sport and Sky Sports, a dog and family friendly atmosphere and pool tables.

Increasingly important when attracting the modern pub-goer, this bar also promises WiFi connectivity and a takeaway option.

3. The Swan on the River, Littleport

Returning to the more traditional style of pub, the Swan on the River in Littleport serves real ale and locally sourced foods, and is set on a charming river bank, all ticks on the pub-lover's checklist.

Rooms are also available from £90 per night, and a BBQ and Pizza service is offered as an extension of the Swan’s menu.

Sara K commented on Tripadvisor: “Visited my sister who lives locally and we had lunch here. The food was very good - I think my steak pie was the best I’d ever had! Packed with meat, great flavour and piping hot.”

Superally2007 added: “Great food, lovely fire, great service. Popped in and so glad we did. Wonderful place. The staff were very attentive, the food was more than just pub food. There was a bit of sparkle added. Plated with love.”

4. The Emperor, Cambridge

A Latin take on the Great British local, the Emperor Bar in Cambridge puts food at the top of the agenda.

A Peruvian menu, curated by the bar’s chef Maurilio Vargas, treats customers to a wide variety of dishes that make a marked change from traditional pub-grub.

A sweet desert offering and a selection of cocktails round off the Emperor’s impressive catalogue of available items.

What’s more, the bar is merely a stone’s throw from Cambridge University, so it’s sure to be a hit with the students.

5. The Waggon & Horses, Steeple Morden

It’s back to British now, and the Waggon & Horses in Steeple Morden.

This well-reviewed pub offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in a quaint and traditional building.

The local has redeveloped its bathrooms this month, as it continues to draw in customers.

One reviewer (named jodiebell_scott) said: “Had a lovely visit at the pub, there was a great atmosphere and friendly staff. Good priced drinks and even got myself a homemade pizza to take away which was to die for ! I’ll Definitely be going back, highly recommended.”

Another (Recuttbarbers) commented: “This is a true gem. We visited for lunch and the menu is something else. After eating so many picture on a plate meals, this was superb.”

6. Queen’s Head, Peterborough

The Queen’s Head in Peterborough describes itself as a “neighbourhood hangout” that serves pizza and a range of beers and cocktails.

The pub is dog-friendly, and sells quesadillas, nachos, sharing platters and sweet treats to accompany your chosen beverage.

The bar is currently showing the Six Nations rugby union tournament, featuring every game live.

A rare offering for a pub, gift cards can be purchased for loved ones, which range between £25 and £100.

7. The Old Ticket Office, Cambridge

Our second bar in Cambridge, the Old Ticket Office is exactly what it says on the tin, a pub located in the old ticket office of Cambridge railway station.

Craft beers, fine wines and liquors and artisan coffee are all promised, while an on-site bottle shop allows customers to take their drinks away with them.

One customer (richardcL1579SG on Tripadvisor) stated: “Fantastic traditional train station bar. All the original features. Great selection of beers, they have Paulaner, what more do u need?

“Well, you need the most delicious hot chicken wings that I have had in some time accompanying your beer. Nice atmosphere. May come back for lunch tomorrow!”

8. The Straw Bear, Whittlesey

The Straw Bear B&B in Whittlesey proudly tells the story of a local Fenland tradition, in which a man dressed as a straw bear would dance through the streets on the Plough Sunday, the first Sunday after the 12th night.

The tradition was revived in Whittlesey in 1979, but has unfortunately been cancelled in 2022, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite this, the bar itself continues to serve a range of food and drinks throughout the year, along with a bed and breakfast service.

One customer (Cynthia A) commented: “I ate here for the carvery which was delicious and value for money, as a great variety offered.

“This pub was different as, not only did it have the usual pub expectations, but it had unusual differences such as a great range of flavoured ciders and the best homemade cheesecake I've ever tasted.”

9. The Crown Inn, Huntingdon

The Crown Inn in Huntingdon is known for its food. From Sunday roasts to fish and chips, this pub provides a range of menus.

From the A la Carte menu to the “Prince and Princess” kids offering, there’s plenty to sample in the pub’s “idyllic grounds”.

The Grade II listed building has a modern interior featuring a lounge area and “warm, cosy ambiance”.

The pub boasts a traditional menu with a modern twist.